Venturi house vs the Villa Mairea Essay

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Venturi house vs the Villa Mairea Comparing the Venturi house vs. the Villa Mairea’s relationship to Orthodox Modernism, both Aalto and Venturi rejected the perceived sterility of Orthodox Modern buildings. This rejection led to the development of Post-Modernism in architecture. Both of these architects believed that Orthodox Modernist ultimately produced designs consisting of glass or white boxes and a desensitization for the human scale and form.

The idea of Modernism, that form follows function, is defied by Venturi. He asserts that the form should be separate from both the function and the structural facts. He felt that decorative and symbolic forms should both play a part in the structural core of a building.
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These two vertical elements compete, for the central position. In contrast, the outside form is simple and consistent. The front creates an almost symbolic image of a house. However, it also reflects the inside complexities through the varying locations and sizes and shapes of the windows and the off-center location of the chimney.

Venturi’s aim in designing this home was more about the joining of complexity and contradiction instead of the ‘less is more’ attitude. Venturi tried to create a visual tension by creating both form and meaning in his designs3. He felt that his approach to design was more in tune with the complexity of the modern experience or the sterile types of environments that the Modernist architects were creating. Venturi was more concerned with the issues of form and their meaning rather than the sociology of architecture.

Venturi believed that the planning for urban America had ruined the vitality of the ‘street life’, by over simplifying it. He felt like even in nature there was complexity and contradiction and that design should reflect this.

The Venturi home is simple in image, complex in plan and rich in its contrast to the functional architecture of the time. Venturi had a ‘both-and’ attitude rather than a ‘either-or’ attitude. He strived to be innovating, inconsistent and ambiguous rather than direct, clear and articulated. Venturi’s style was not just a reaction to orthodox Modernism and its ‘banality’, as he saw

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